Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme Board: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme Board.


1. In June 2018 the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce was jointly commissioned by Scottish Government and COSLA to take a whole system approach to children and young people’s mental health in Scotland.  The aim of the Taskforce  was that children, young people and their families should know that they will be supported in good mental health and will be able to access help for mental health problems which is local, responsive and evidence based.

2. On 10 May 2019 a public announcement was made advising that Dr Dame Denise Coia had stood down from her role as Chair of the Taskforce and that discussions were taking place to determine the best way to continue the work that had begun.  These discussions concluded in June and shortly afterwards the creation of The Children & Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board  was announced.

Purpose Statement

3. The purpose of the Programme Board will be to oversee reforms to ensure children, young people and their families receive the support they need, when they need it, underpinned by the values, principles and components of GIRFEC, and responsive to local needs and systems. In line with the recommendations of the Taskforce there will be a focus on prevention and early support as well as promotion of good mental health and the services children, young people and their families’ access. The Programme Board will work to ensure the development of a coherent, whole system approach with a focus on the pathways and journeys children, young people and their families may take. Importantly, the voices and experiences of children, young people and their families will be at the centre.


4.The Programme Board is expected to run until the end of December 2020.  


5. The Programme Board will report to Scottish Ministers and COSLA who will meet on a six weekly basis to discuss progress of the Board and agree on any additional action required. 
6. The Programme Board will prepare updates and reports as necessary which will be presented to Ministers, COSLA Boards and COSLA Leaders as appropriate.


7. The Programme Board will be jointly chaired by the Scottish Government Director of Mental Health and the COSLA interim Head of Policy. 

8. Membership of the Programme Board will be drawn by seeking representatives of the following groups:

  • NHS Chief Executives
  • Local Authority Chief Executives
  • Integration Joint Board Chief Officers
  • Association of Directors of Education (ADES)
  • Social Work Scotland
  • Royal College of GPs
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists
  • Third Sector(SCVO)
  • Parents (National Parent Forum of Scotland)
  • Directors of Public Health
  • The Youth Work and CLD  sector
  • CAMHS Lead Clinicians Group
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Director of Learning, Scottish Government
  • Director for Children and Families, Scottish Government
  • Association of Clinical Psychologists UK

9. Additional members may be invited to join the Board to cover specific interests as required. Membership to the Board will be reviewed as necessary.  
10. The Programme Board will also make use of the services of a Participation Officer whose role will be to make the appropriate links with children and young people to ensure that co-production takes place  and that the voices of children and young people are at the centre of all work.


11.    The Programme Board will establish workstreams and task and finish groups to support its activity as required. 
12.    The Board will be supported by designated senior leads who will lead key agreed work areas and will be responsible for ensuring  key deliverables are met to an agreed timetable.  Those Programme Leads will attend Board meetings to provide regular updates on the work they are responsible for. 
13.    A Programme Director will work with the programme leads on a day to day basis to ensure the coherent delivery of updates and reports for Programme Board members.
14.    The Programme Board will also be supported by a Programme Office which will ensure that all programme plans are properly developed and executed in an orderly manner, and provide regular programme reports on progress and the management of key risks. 

Advisory Groups 

15.    A Lived Experience Forum of children young people and families will be established in line with the proposal from the Taskforce that the implementation of the recommendations should be co-designed and co-produced in partnership. 
16.    Membership will include children, young people and parents and the Forum will be led by the Participation Officer.
17.    The Forum once established will meet prior to each Programme Board Meeting.  
18.    An Advisory Group made up of a range of key advisors from across sectors will be established and available to provide support and guidance to the Programme The Programme Board will set out the elements of work where advice is required, which will form part of the agenda for Advisory Group meetings;
19.    The Advisory Group will have an Independent chair and meet twice yearly. The Advisory group chair will be able to propose items for inclusion on the programme Board agenda.  
20.    Terms of reference for the Advisory Board will be drafted by the Programme Office and put to the Programme Board for approval. 


21.The scope of the Programme Board will include all relevant areas of children’s, education, health and community services, as well as any wider areas which impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. This takes cognisance of the recommendation from the taskforce that addressing children’s mental health needs requires a whole system approach, ensuring preventative action to reduce need, and prompt and proportionate responses to improve outcomes for all children who need support or treatment. It is recognised that this is a wide scope and the Programme Board will be asked to consider the recommendations of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce and the Youth Commission on Mental Health at an early meeting to focus their actions and work programme. The Board will also take cognisance of existing statutory frameworks, including provisions set out in the Children and Young People’s (Scotland) Act 2014.   

Accountability and Reporting

22.    The Board is not established on a statutory basis. It is therefore not subject to the formal public appointments process and the requirements of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland.  Members are appointed by Scottish Ministers and COSLA, taking into account the views of the Co-Chairs.
23.    All members of the Programme Board will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest at each meeting. Any action to be taken on the basis of these declarations will be at the discretion of the Co-Chairs. If one of the Co-Chairs has a conflict of interest, the remaining Co-Chair will lead in determining the appropriate course of action.

Transparency and Communication

24.The Terms of Reference, updates, reports, membership and minutes of meetings will be electronically published on the Scottish Government’s website.
25.Where possible the Programme Office will issue papers one week in advance of meetings and presentations 48 hours before meetings. 

Arrangements for decision making 

26.    In regards to decision making processes on the Board’s key deliverables, a process will be followed whereby papers will be shared with the Board which set out position and proposed course of action to be taken on which members will be given the opportunity to provide comment. Member comments will be collated and agreement reached on a course of action, consistent with the Board’s key deliverables. 
27.    Efforts will be made to ensure members are able to discuss issues for decision or clearance at a Programme Board meeting. If it is not possible to facilitate a discussion at a Board meeting due to timeframes, details will be circulated for clearance via correspondence. 


28.    The success of the Programme Board will depend upon mutual trust and respect from all participants.  There may, at times, require to be a degree of sensitivity around discussions in seeking to arrive at a consensus. Open and frank discussion will be encouraged and supported with a general summary of key discussion and action points produced by the Programme Office following meetings.  Where possible, minutes of meetings will be agreed by correspondence.
29.    The normal pattern for meetings of the Programme Board will be every 2 months, with more frequent meetings at first whilst the Board establishes itself.   Any matters which need to be decided on out-with the schedule of meetings may be dealt with by correspondence. 








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